LAWRENCE — Two detectives on a stakeout in the Saunders Street area interrupted a drug deal and arrested one man on charges of possession of heroin.

Police said Detective Robert Lefebre and Essex County Deputy Sheriff William Castro, both assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force, spotted a black Saturn SUV with New Hampshire plates park in the area of Knox Street with three passengers about 3 p.m.

As they watched, the driver talked on his cellphone and looked around continuously.

Five minutes later a gray minivan pulled up and drove away with the SUV following.

The two vehicles parked on Saunders Street and the driver of the SUV got out and got into the van.

The officers got out of their car and approached the minivan and saw Orlando Perez-Diaz, 21, of Providence, R.I. put his hand to his mouth and begin swallowing.

The officers ordered Perez-Diaz to open his mouth and saw a small plastic bag on the back of his tongue.

Perez-Diaz began flailing his arms and the officers removed him from the van and arrested him.

The driver of the SUV admitted to police he had come to Lawrence to buy $40 worth of heroin. The buy didn't go down because the driver said Perez-Diaz put 10 to 12 small plastic bags of heroin in his mouth when he spotted the officers.

The three men in the SUV were allowed to leave and Perez-Diaz was taken to the police station where he was booked on charges of possession of heroin, and resisting arrest.

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